5th European Crystallographic School

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8 - 14 July 2018

Welcome to Stellenbosch!

Dear Colleagues, we are pleased to invite you and your students to attend the 5th European Crystallographic School to be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, 8-14 July 2018 under the auspices of the European Crystallographic Association, International Union of Crystallography and the South African Crystallographic Society.

The aim of the school is to give attendees a fundamental understanding of the principles underpinning crystallography through a combination of lectures and hands-on tutorials. We will begin by covering the basic principles of point groups, space groups, crystallisation, data collection, and structure refinement from a theoretical perspective. Thereafter, participants will separate into two groups to apply this knowledge to either biological crystallography or materials science.


The school will be held on the picturesque campus of Stellenbosch University, which is situated in the heart of the historical town of Stellenbosch, a popular tourist destination surrounded by mountains and vineyards. It is well-known for the excellent locally-produced wine, good food and a range of modern art galleries. Also nearby is Cape Town, a vibrant, cosmopolitan city world renowned for the iconic Table Mountain and beautiful beaches inhabited by penguins!

We look forward to welcoming you to Stellenbosch in 2018.


Best wishes,

Catharine Esterhuysen

(on behalf of the ECS5 Organising Committee)


The 5th European Crystallographic School will be held on the campus of Stellenbosch University, which situated in the centre of the town, utilising its state-of-the-art lecturing and X-ray diffraction facilities. Stellenbosch, affectionately known as the Town of Oaks or “Eikestad”, is nestled at the foothills of the Jonkershoek and Simonsberg Mountains which is the source to the Eerste (First) River that winds its way through the town. The documented history of Stellenbosch dates back to 1679 when farmland was developed to supply food to the settlers in Cape Town. Today, Stellenbosch is a bustling town in the heart of the Winelands, with a unique character where a strong historical atmosphere is combined with the advances of a modern society. Stellenbosch University, with more than 24 000 students, also provides a robust educational character to the town. Stellenbosch is a mere 25 minutes away from Cape Town International Airport and 45 minutes from the centre of Cape Town.


Very basic dormitory-style accommodation (including breakfast) in a Stellenbosch University residence has been arranged for 8 – 14 July 2018. Cost: R 2 100 If you will be arriving earlier or staying later than these dates, or should you wish to stay in one of the many good hotels or guest houses in the area, you will have to arrange your accommodation yourself.
The terms and conditions for this accommodation can be found here. -


Stellenbosch can be easily explored on foot, offering a variety of charming shops, galleries, curio shops and restaurants. It is situated in a valley (average elevation of 136m) at the foot of the Cape Fold mountain range and is surrounded by mountains reaching more than 1,500 m. Visitors who have more time to spend will find that Stellenbosch provides a base from which to explore the Cape region. Regarding agricultural activities it is best known for grape and wine production, being part of the Cape Winelands, as the Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool winters is excellent for grape production. The Western Cape area itself is one of the most important horticultural regions in South Africa, with 52,300 ha of fruit trees under cultivation and the majority of the country’s apple, pear and stone fruit production being situated in this area. The Cape Peninsula with its beautiful beaches and nature reserves and vibrant Cape Town are also easily accessible from Stellenbosch. This region is a biodiversity hotspot and features many protected areas with a high level of endemism for both fauna and flora.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University is home to around 30 000 students and 3 000 staff members (of which 1 000 are academics) spread over five campuses. The high quality of teaching and research, state-of-art facilities and beauty of the campus has attracted students and staff from around 100 countries, strengthening its position as one of the top 300 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Stellenbosch University is one of the oldest universities in South Africa, and in 2018 the Faculty of Science will be celebrating its centenary.

Discover Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University started as a Theological College in the mid-nineteenth century, yielding an architectural legacy of that contributes to the beauty of the Stellenbosch campus. The aesthetics of the campus has been carefully considered in the design of new buildings, to the extent that the JS Gericke library was built underground to maintain the open character of the Jan Marais square, which is surrounded by historical red-roofed buildings.


There are many national and international flights that arrive daily at Cape Town International airport from a variety of destinations. Free transport between Cape Town International Airport and Stellenbosch will be offered by the organisers on 8 and 14 July only. Should you be arriving earlier or leaving later please arrange your own transport to Stellenbosch. The easiest is by rental car: The better known rental companies have pick-up points in the airport. Ensure that you have made arrangements prior to arrival. Directions: From Cape Town International airport take the N2 towards Somerset West. Turn left onto the R310 and follow the road into Stellenbosch. From Cape Town take the N1 in a northerly direction and turn off at Exit 39 onto the R304 and follow through into Stellenbosch.
A map of the campus can be found here. -


ECS5 2018 brings an exciting range of experience to the school.


Below is the program for ECS5 2018.

8:30 - 9:00



10:30-11:00 AM

11:00-12:30 PM

12:30-14:00 PM

14:00-15:30 PM

15:30-16:00 PM

16:00-17:30 PM

8:30-9:00 AM

9:00-10:30 AM

10:30-11:00 AM

11:00-12:30 PM

12:30-14:00 PM

15:30-16:00 PM

16:00-17:30 PM


Registration fees cover the welcome mixer, workshop material in electronic form, lectures and coffee and lunch breaks.

  • The organisers reserve the right to limit the number of participants.
  • An invoice with payment details will be sent to you once your registration has been confirmed.
  • Note that conference fees will be fully refunded provided that the cancellation request is received no later than 30 April 2018.
  • Cancellations occurring between 1 May and 31 May 2018 will be refunded 50%.
  • No refunds will be given after 31 May 2018.
  • Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing to the official workshop e-mail: mdp@sun.ac.za.
  • Note the accommodation cancellation policy is different.

Early Bird Registration


Until 31 March 2018

Late Registration


From 1 April 2018

Deadline for bursary applications

28 February 2018

Online Registration Form


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Bursary Information

A limited number of bursaries are available, please send an email to mdp@sun.ac.za with the title "ECS5 bursary application" by 28 February 2018 and include the following documentation in the email (as pdf files): 

  1. Curriculum Vitae - single A4 page.  Pdf should be named SURNAME_CV
  2. List of publications. Pdf should be named SURNAME_LP
  3. Recommendation letter from Supervisor or Head of the Department/Group. Pdf file should be named SURNAME_RL_SURNAME OF SUPERVISOR
  4. Letter of Motivation for Bursary Application. Pdf should be named SURNAME_M

Organising Committee

ESC5 2018 is made possible through the dedication of the following organisers:


Find all your electronic material right here!


Our main sponsors


Should you have any questions about the school, please feel to correspond via our workshop email: mdp@sun.ac.za or telephone +27 (0)21 808 3347.